WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Stewart Rhodes, founder of the U.S. far-right group Oath Keepers, and his associate Kelly Meggs were found guilty by a jury on Tuesday of seditious conspiracy and other charges for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Their actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Three additional defendants, who were leaders and associates of the organization, were found guilty of related felony charges.
The verdicts followed an eight-week trial and three days of deliberations. No sentencing date was set.
Rhodes, 57, of Granbury, Texas, also was found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with documents and proceedings.
Meggs, 53, of Dunnellon, Florida, also was found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging duties, and tampering with documents or proceedings.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Oath Keepers is a large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some of whom are associated with militias.
Following the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election, Rhodes, Meggs, and others began plotting to oppose by force the transfer of presidential power, court documents showed.
In the 22 months since Jan. 6, 2021, over 900 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 275 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. ■